Big brave ghost hunter…afraid of amusement park haunted houses!
Okay, so if I could have a tee-shirt that read “I heart ghosts” and wear it every day, I would. But I can’t. I almost think I should be kicked out of the ghost hunter club and be shamed for what I am about to tell you.
I am scared of amusement park haunted houses! There! I said it! Please don’t banish me from the para-world! Please, please, please. I am sorry.
I CAN handle anything scary…well almost anything. Not zombies because…well that could totally happen one day, and not really scary movies…I swear it’s the music that they include in the scene that makes me cover my eyes, and not, definitely NOT haunted houses located in amusement parks. I find NOTHING amusing about them. There is something about walking through a dark room, in a tight line, one terrified patron after another, like cattle off to slaughter, while live people sneak up on me, or jump out yelling “boo”, that I just can’t stomach. Heck, I get really nervous when the ghost trap my Pac-Man in a corner, or when I am out of time on my Tetris game and the music is reaching that ultimate climax as the last tile falls! Tick-tock! Ahhh!!! It’s just too damn stressful!
My friends love, love. love all the Halloween attractions every October at Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farm. They love zombies jumping out from under smoke filled streets and serial killers with chainsaws chasing them around the “amusement” park. Again…nothing amusing about that. But amusement parks have amped it up a bit. Universal Studios has added “The Purge” to their Halloween Horror Night attractions. There is nothing that spells FUN, like lawless maniacs trying to kill you cuz it’s legal for a 24 hours (a movie I haven’t seen…of course!). So don’t you only get the you-know-what scared out of you in the so-called “haunted house” but now, crazy people, with masks, (could it be my neighbor behind that creepy doll-like mask?) invade your personal space, by A LOT, as you enter the front freaking gates.
Ghost can be scary. They are unpredictable, mostly invisible, and it’s the unknown. So why, when I experience something paranormal, do I not go running out of the house screaming my head off? The folks in the amusement park haunted houses, aren’t the real, grizzly, terrifying characters they portray for one night (or are they???), but ghost are real! Some can be dangerous. There is no logic to this, I know, I am just messed up.
So what is it? Where does this fear come form? Why is it I can walk around dark haunted halls no problem, but will most likely wet myself in a fake, controlled, scary environment? Perhaps it’s the fact that I don’t know these strangers, (yeah I know how that last statement reads) they could be wannabe serial killers, who watch too much Dexter (Great series by the way. Highly recommend) just living out a fantasy because they aren’t ready to make that final step into Crazyland. Do the people who run these haunted house run background checks? God I hope so.
So, I have been able to keep my distance every year. It’s easy…avoid fun childhood places for the month of October and you should be fine. But now there is a terrifying, yet sort of intriguing, new haunted house fad. It’s called “extreme haunted houses”. WTFrigg! Now something that is already scary as hell is EXTREMELY scary as hell??!!!
These EHH are EXTREMELY interactive. Yes you heard me, you can now participate in your own horror movie, without the safety of a movie director, guiding actors through scary yet safe scenes, calling out “CUT its a wrap!” Oh no! You go to an unassuming location (please tell people where you are going just incase you don’t return), that could look like an average warehouse, an office building, old folks home, and you sign a waver that basically says if you die of fright, it’s not their fault, and you enter the world of roleplaying victim experiences.
There is a great article in Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/10/10/most-extreme-haunted-houses/)that explains what you could expect from some of these EHH. Several of them are located right here in sunny southern California. Yippy. These places put thrill seeking, desensitized patron through living nightmares. Most require you to be 18+ of age, solo experiences (nooooo!), could last up to 5 hours (oh good God), you could end up naked (ehh), and you have a “safe word”. Leave it to me, in a panic, to forget my safe word!
Now, if you were paying attention to the words in this post, you’d notice I wrote “intriguing” regarding EHH. That is because I grew up with B-movie horror films. My beloved mother and I would watch anything and everything that was a gore fest, with really wonderful bad acting. And I always thought my first paid acting gig would be in a low budget horror flick. I even worked in our local haunted house as a Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger victim (did I just age myself?). So I am intrigued about living through (ehem, experiencing) one of these. But I already know I don’t have the balls. So it would be great if these places maybe had a two-way mirror so I could watch like some creeper???
So there you have it. October is a rough month for little-ole, ghost hunter me. I wonder what strength I will gain in 2015, and if I could do a follow-up post showing I have gotten over my fear of, babies, creepy clowns, zombies and mass murders. But mostly if I have bravely allowed myself into and interactive, extreme, full contact haunted house, where strangers torture me, blindfold me, cover me in fake blood, scream at me, bind and gag me, have live tarantulas crawl on me! Ha! Yeah probably not going to happen.